Friday, March 16, 2012

Side income of chess players (part 1)

A FEW issues ago, I wrote about how much a chess professional makes, which is not much unless you are a grandmaster.

Even then, only the top 20 to 30 percent have a decent and comfortable life, while the rest must rely on outside income. In fact, most players have a steady and permanent job.

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There are a few exceptions, though, as some countries treat their top players with extra loving care. In the Philippines, GMs and IMs receive an allowance from the Philippine Sports Commission; so do players from Vietnam, China, Armenia, Iceland and Azerbaijan and a few others.

Here is how selected top players make extra money. Some earn much, much more money outside chess.

Accountants are Henry Bird, Samuel Reshevsky, Frederick Yates and Cepca members Felix Balbona, Gerry Tomakin and Sonny Sollano.

Samuel Boden was an art critic and amateur landscape painter, while Gosta Stoltz was an automobile mechanic. George Thomas was a tennis player and once played at Wimbledon.

Bankers include Bill Addison, Ossip Bernstein, Ignatz Kolisch, Ken Rogoff, and Max Weiss. Addison worked at the Bank of America in San Francisco. Bernstein was a financial lawyer and earned a doctorate in Law at Heidelberg in 1906.

Kolisch became a millionaire from banking and later became a chess patron.

Rogoff served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund and was on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He is currently a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Weiss was a banker for the Rothschild Bank in Vienna. He also studied mathematics and physics in Vienna and later taught those subjects.

Esther Epstein is a systems manager for the Bio-Molecular Engineering Research Center (BMERC) at Boston University. Arthur Dake was director of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). He started out as a merchant seaman. He then sold insurance and telephone directories.

Amos Burn (1848-1925) was a cotton and sugar broker from Liverpool. He was a chess journalist until his death.

Arnold Denker was a businessman in the meat packing industry and became a millionaire.

Jonathan Tisdall is a chef and works as a freelance journalist, while Vincenzo Castaldi was a dentist and George Koltanowski was a diamond cutter. Nikola Karaklajic was a disc jockey for Belgrade radio while Elijah Williams worked as a druggist.

Electrical engineers include Mikhail Botvinnik (world champion), Vladimir Liberzon and John Watson.

Grigory Levenfish was an engineer in the glass industry. He had a degree in chemical engineering and so does Edmar Mednis and chessmoso.

Julio Granda-Zuniga is a farmer in Peru, while Bukhuti Gurgenidze is a geologist.

Henry Buckle was a British historian and writer. Insurance salesmen include Al Horowitz, Issac Kashdan, Miguel Najdorf, and William Napier.

I.S. Turover founded a lumber and millwork company and became a millionaire.

Paul Keres was a professor of mathematics in Tallinn, Estonia.

It seems like math is a favorite subject of chess players. Other mathematicians include Adolf Anderssen (world champion), Magdy Assem, George Atwood, Christoph Bandelow, John Beasley, Otto Blathy, Hans Boumeester, Nathan Divinsky, Noam Elkies, Arpad Elo, Max Euwe, Ed Formanek, William Hartston, Martin Kreuzer, Emanuel Lasker (world champion), Anatoly Lein, Lev Loshinksi, Vladimir Makogonov, Geza Maroczy, Vania Mascioni, J. Mauldon, Jonathan Mestel, Walter Morris, John Nunn, Nick Patterson, Miodrag Petkovic, Ken Regan, and Duncan Suttles.

Pinoy lawyers are the late Rosendo Balinas, the late Cepca member Migs Enriquez and good friend Samuel Estimo.

Most of the information is from the trivia collection of Bill Wall.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2012.

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